Disaster Management Participates in Full-Scale Emergency Exercise

Ohio Christian University's Disaster Management program participated in a Full Scale Emergency Simulation exercise Tuesday September 20, 2011, at Port Columbus International Airport in Columbus, Ohio. 

This exercise was designed to test and evaluate the emergency plans and response of the Airport, tenants, and various other service organizations, including, but not limited to, police and Fire, multi-county Emergency Managers, Red Cross Disaster Services, The Salvation Army, and area hospitals, in the event of a large scale, mass casualty accident. 

This year’s exercise consisted of multiple hazards including a plane crash and a suspected bomb event.  The full day event was coordinated in real time and allowed responders to check on their knowledge, skills, and abilities concerning emergencies and crises.  The OCU students participated in multiple portions of the event.  About half of the students portrayed victims.  In order to provide as real an experience as possible, the students were prepared by make-up artists according to their assigned injuries.  Disaster Program Director Thad Hicks added, “These guys scared me.  They looked like they had been in an actual plane crash.”  Other students had a less glamorous, but equally important role.  They acted as the family and friends of the plane crash victims.  Like those playing the victims, these students helped to train responders to react to an emergency.  The important role the family and friends actors played helped with response to secondary victims.

This exercise presented a wonderful learning opportunity for students in the emergency and disaster management fields.  Many of the students in the Disaster Management program have never been in the field working a disaster scene, so the full-scale exercise is a great chance to experience one just a few miles from the OCU campus. 

Ohio Christian University was able to send over 20 Disaster management Students to the exercise.  Many of the students were seen discussing the program at OCU with those in attendance.  Hicks added, “They were clearly impressed with the OCU Disaster students.  Several people handed me their business cards begging me for interns.”   

Plans are currently underway for a possible emergency simulation on the OCU campus.  This simulation will help assess OCU's emergency plans.